Living Cost in UK: A Complete Breakdown of Cost of Living in UK For International Students Image
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Living Cost in UK: A Complete Breakdown of Cost of Living in UK For International Students

Yocket Editorial Team
16 mins read

Home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities like Oxford & Cambridge, the United Kingdom is a popular destination among thousands of study abroad aspirants. Apart from the outstanding academic standards, the UK attracts international students for a variety of other reasons as well. However, most Indian and international students are often worried about the expenses that they have to bear while studying in the UK. But the good news is, if managed effectively, the living expenses in UK for Indian students and other international students can be very manageable. 

Therefore, to help you smartly plan your expenditure, we bring you a complete guide to the living expenses in UK for international students in detail. In this blog, we have discussed the living cost in the UK by focusing on the living expenses in the UK for international students per month and everything related to it.

Table of Contents :

  1. An overview of living expenses in UK for international students
  2. Money-saving Hacks for International students in UK
  3. Cost of Living in UK : City Comparison 
  4. Frequently Asked Questions About Cost of Living in UK


An Overview Of Living Expenses in UK For International Students

The cost of living in the UK can vary depending on a number of factors. Before we discuss those factors in detail, here’s an overview of the living expenses in UK for Indian students and other international students.


Average Cost Per Month


£500 - £700

Food & Groceries

£100 - £200


£30- £40

Household Bills

£40 - £50


£40- £50


£200 -£300


NOTE: These costs are just rough estimates and may vary depending on a lot of factors like your lifestyle, the city you live in, university etc.

Thus, average monthly expenses in UK for international students can be around £900 to £1500.

The UK Visa and immigration requires you to have £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses in London and £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) for courses outside London.

SUGGESTED: Find out the total cost of studying in UK for International Students

To understand your living expenses in UK structure further, let us discuss all the above factors in detail:


Accommodation is the most important part of your living cost in UK and most of the expenses incurred will go on accommodation. Students can choose from different accommodation options like halls of residence in their university campus, private apartments, shared housing, dorms or local homestays. Halls of residence is the most popular type of accommodation among international students.

Here’s a look at the average rent for different types of accommodation options for students.

Type of Accomodation

Average Rent

Halls of Residence

£400 - £600/ month

Private apartments

£800 - £1000/ month

Local homestays

£10 - £60/ night

Apart from the kind of accommodation, your monthly cost of living in UK may also vary depending on the city you live in. For example, living in cities like London or Brighton can be expensive as compared to living in cities like Aberdeen or Manchester.

Take a look at the average rent in various popular student cities in the UK:


Average Cost of Living Per Month


£1100- 1300


£838 - 1300


£860 - 1100


£1100 - 1700


£700 - 1200


£800 - 1000


£700 - 1000

Food & Groceries

Food is an indispensable part of your cost of living in UK per month. Cost of food can be very well managed if you cook your own meals instead of eating in fancy restaurants. Eating out frequently can definitely increase your expenditure and can be expensive.

There are various Indian Grocery stores in the UK which provide all the ingredients for an Indian meal and Indian students can easily cook their meals. Hence, the cost of living in UK for Indian students can be managed well.

The costs of basic grocery and food in the UK is mentioned below:



Bread (1 pack)


1 liter Milk




12 Eggs










1 meal at an affordable restaurant



The UK cost of living also includes commuting around the city. Especially if your apartment is far from your university, you will have to consider these costs. But do not worry because there are plenty of student discounts available for international students that make the travelling costs very affordable.

Moreover, students can always use public transport because the UK's public transport system is very well connected and also very convenient. Taking a bus, train or a tube or simply cycling around the city can be a very affordable travel option for international students as compared to taxis.

The common modes of transport and ticket costs are given below :

Mode of Transport

Ticket Fare


£12 - £13


£1- £2


£6 - £90




£2 for 30 minutes

Household Bills

There are various household bills that come in the picture when living in the UK. Bills for electricity, water, mobile, internet etc are important and should be paid on time. Most of the time, your rent itself includes all these bills but if it doesn't, you do have to consider the cost of various bills while staying in the UK. Additionally, there are health insurance bills too as a part of the cost of living in UK for Indian students.

Take a look at average cost of all the bills that you might have to pay:


Average Cost Per Month

Mobile & Internet


Gas/ water/ Electricity


TV License






University life is certainly not just about studies, books and tests. It is good to indulge in some leisure activities in order to build your social circle and explore the country and learn more about the culture and people. Hence, you should include the cost of leisure activities in your budget while calculating living expenses in UK for Indian students.

Take a look at some of the most common entertainment options and costs for the same.

Entertainment Options

Average Cost

Movie Tickets



£10-20 / month

Dinner at a restaurant


Concert tickets


Amusement park tickets 



Finally, miscellaneous expenditure includes a variety of things like leisure activities, shopping, stationery, toiletries, household items and any other extra expenditure that you make. Please note that miscellaneous expenditure may vary from person to person and it totally depends on your personal lifestyle.

Hence, you must plan accordingly. It is highly recommended that you steer clear from luxury items and imported goods when you are trying to plan out a reasonable budget for living in the UK.

Take a look at some of the miscellaneous costs given below:

Miscellaneous Items

Average Costs


£50- 70

Household Items


Books & Stationery






Cost of Living in UK : City Comparison

As we already discussed above, the cost of living in UK for Indian students is hugely impacted by the city you decide to stay in UK. Here’s a quick cost of living comparison of UK student living expenses among the most popular student cities:

Money-Saving Hacks For International Students In The UK


Living in the UK can be somewhat expensive. However, there are various ways through which international students can save money. Some of them are :

  1. Student Discounts: There are amazing student discounts on everything in the UK starting from shopping at the supermarket and to buying movie tickets. These discounts can help manage UK student living expenses very well and hence these should be used as much as possible.
  2. Transportation cards: If you are going to be using public transport very frequently, it is better to take a transport card which also offers discounts to students. For example, use a railcard or an Oyster card for your everyday travel.
  3. Cheaper alternatives: This is probably the most common tip but still very important. If you are on a tight budget, you can look for cheaper alternatives when shopping in supermarkets.  Avoid buying luxurious or imported items.
  4. Scholarships: Scholarships are the best option when it comes to covering the cost of living in UK for students.  There are various scholarships in UK that may either cover your tuition fees or entire cost of living. Research and apply to the scholarships which best suit you. 
  5. Part-time jobs: Part-time jobs are an excellent option if you are looking to earn extra income in the UK. Students are allowed to work 20 times a week and can earn around GBP 10 - 12 per hour.

RECOMMENDED: All about finding the best part time jobs in UK for international students

Frequently Asked Questions About Cost of Living in UK

1. Is UK cheap for international students?

Ans: The cost of living in UK for international students depends on a lot of factors like the city you decide to live in, your lifestyle, how you plan your budget etc. There are some cities in the UK which can be expensive and there are also cities which are affordable. Thus, planning your budget well will help you a lot in UK.

2. How much does it cost for an international student to live in the UK?

Ans: The living costs may vary depending on the city, lifestyle, university etc but the average cost of living in UK for international students is around GBP 1100 - 1300 per month.

3. Is UK safe for Indian students? 

Ans: Yes it is. UK is definitely safer than most Indian cities. Moreover, 24/7 security is provided at most campuses and most universities also have the department dealing with student safety.

4. Which is the cheapest city in UK for international students?

Ans: Some of the cheapest cities in the UK include Aberdeen, Manchester, Nottingham etc.

5. What are the living expenses in UK for international students per year?

Ans: The cost of living in UK for students can go around GBP 13,200 to 15,600 per year.

Managing the cost of Living in UK for Indian Students is basically all about effective planning and budgeting. Keeping track of your expenses and saving money as much as possible will definitely help you. Living and studying in the UK is an amazing experience for international students and will teach them about living independently, managing finances and also managing times!

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